Video:How I up cycled my vintage phone to shabby chic pink.

Retro phone makeover using Rust-oleum

You may have noticed I am on a bit of a spray painting buzz at the moment. Rummaging through the shed for things to up cycle I stumbled across this old telephone. I remember buying a second hand vintage Royal Albert telephone and the chap I bought it off gave me this phone as well as he was throwing it out. It was really grubby but I seen the potential and wanted to give it a second chance. It has been sitting in my shed for ages. These retro style phones are big money if you go and buy them in the shops. 

So armed with my can of candy pink spray paint I salvaged this beauty and gave it a new lease of life. 

You can also find my other post where I spray painted some household items copper here. 

I hope you enjoy the Youtube video too and find it useful and if you have a moment I would love a cheeky subscribe to my youtube channel. 

The before. 

So the telephone had seen better days. Scuffs and scratches and years of dirt had it looking miserable. 

Imagine the years of conversations had on this phone. That is why I love salvaging old pieces as they have stories to tell. I always wonder who owned the pieces before I stumbled across them.

How I done it. 

Just like in my last project I followed my three rules. 

Prep, Prime, Paint. 

To prep I cleaned the whole piece in sugar soap to get all of that grime off it. I lightly scuffed it with a really light grit sandpaper. I didn’t want to scuff it too much as the scratches might have shown through.

Then I gave it one coat of primer. I used the Rust-oleum surface primer in grey. I had this can left over form my last project so one can really does get you a lot of projects. My can is still half full. 

I let this dry for 30 mins. I always recommend priming as it makes your piece last longer and it also saves your coloured paint. If I was to go straight in and paint this pink I would use my whole can, where as a primer means less coats of the pink and more paint for me to use on another project. 

Then I gave a coat of paint. The fun part! I used the colour candy pink. A really fun vibrant colour. I gave one coat of this and let it dry. 

I gave my phone two coats of pink allowing 20 mins before each coat.

For more information on the spray paints I used you can click here. 

For drying time follow the instructions on the back of the can. It says it is touch dry after 20 mins which is great as if your piece needs a second coat then you can apply it. Please bear in mind that although your item is touch dry it will take a full 24 hours for it to fully dry. So be extra careful with it as you don’t want to move it and it chips on you. 

Another tip is to spray paint outside or in a shed. Also wear a protective mask and avoid inhaling the spray when painting. Spray even coats roughly 30 cm away and thin coats are best. Don’t be like me and get over excited and spray on too much. Take your time and have fun. 

If you do get some paint on your hands then wash in warm soapy water and use some white spirits or nail polish remover to remove any stubborn paint. 

To keep the little bit of detail in the middle I wiped off the primer with a little cloth and white spirit. I was originally going to paint the whole thing pink but I decided to keep the detail in the middle to show a little bit of its history. It also adds to the detail and breaks up the pink. 

To add the numbers back on I got some small stickers from the craft shop. I originally went in to buy a gold sharpie. I wasn’t overly confident of using the sharpie to write the numbers back on as I don’t have the neatest of handwriting. I was delighted when I had to go with plan b and I got these fab stickers instead. I love the pop of gold against the pink.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks DIY, I am going to display my retro phone in the living room as it matches the hints of pink perfectly. Have you given the spray paint a go? I would love to see. Tag me in you Instagram pics of leave a link to your blog in the comments section below.

Thanks so much for reading.
Chat soon,




  1. And she lived creatively ever after...
    August 23, 2018 / 1:21 am

    Catherine, I loved your pink phone so much! I decided to have a go at my old phone. The cord took a long time to dry, several days! But it was so worth it! Coral with white polka dots! Thanks for the wonderful creative idea!

  2. Sharon
    July 28, 2017 / 9:04 am

    Adorable! I so love pink too. You did a fabulous job there Catherine.

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